Joachim W. Schroeter (JoWSch): Blog https://www.mylenwyd.com/blog en-us (C) Joachim W. Schroeter (JoWSch) mylenwyd@yahoo.com (Joachim W. Schroeter (JoWSch)) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:01:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:01:00 GMT https://www.mylenwyd.com/img/s/v-12/u457710982-o763456399-50.jpg Joachim W. Schroeter (JoWSch): Blog https://www.mylenwyd.com/blog 90 120 RIP Gianmaria Testa https://www.mylenwyd.com/blog/2016/3/rip-gianmaria-testa RIP Gianmaria TestaRIP Gianmaria TestaIt sounded ominous when the 4 January 2015 concert in Zurich was cancelled. Little did we know then, though, that that evening would have been our last chance to see and listen to this great Italian cantautore (singer-songwriter) live for the very first time. It was not to be. Since as his Facebook page informs his fans the world over in a typically quiet, unassuming way, the great poet has gone, has passed away yesterday, 30 March 2016. Due to the ubiquity of music files in today's digital world those who treasure his texts and sounds can continue to do so via his recordings - the 2001 album "Il valzer di un giorno" being my personal favourite - and many more will be able to discover his wonderful music still. So thank you for the music, Gianmaria Testa, and rest in peace.

RIP Gianmaria Testa +++++ It sounded ominous when the 4 January 2015 concert in Zurich was cancelled. Little did we know, though, that that evening would have been our last chance to see and listen to this great Italian cantautore (singer-songwriter) live for the very first time. It was not to be. Since as his Facebook page informs his fans the world over in a typically quiet, unassuming way, the great poet has gone, has passed away yesterday, 30 March 2016. Due to the ubiquity of music files in today's digital world those who treasure his texts and sounds can continue to do so via his recordings - the 2001 album "Il valzer di un giorno" being my personal favourite - and many more will be able to discover his wonderful music still. So thank you for the music, Gianmaria Testa, and rest in peace.

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mylenwyd@yahoo.com (Joachim W. Schroeter (JoWSch)) Black & White Gianmaria Testa GianmariaTesta Pfauen Schauspielhaus Zurich Schauspielhaus Zürich Theatre Zurich ausgang candles cantautore chandelier exit guitar iPhone lustre monochrome singer-songwriter wallpaper https://www.mylenwyd.com/blog/2016/3/rip-gianmaria-testa Thu, 31 Mar 2016 12:46:52 GMT
Ireland: seven select photographers of natural beauty https://www.mylenwyd.com/blog/2016/3/ireland-seven-select-photographers-of-natural-beauty Everyone who knows me more than just casually will likely also know that I have lost my heart – irretrievably – to Ireland and to the Irish. During the three years of living in Dublin (2010-13) I came to appreciate how unpretentious the Irish people are, how unassuming – live and let live, something that I endorse wholeheartedly. And the Emerald Isle has so many places of outstanding natural beauty that even with one photograph taken for every 10 minutes or so I spent there, I feel I have still only scratched the surface of what’s on offer. So to complement my own memories, photographic and otherwise, I have bought a number of prints and books which I treasure, and in the following will introduce and recommend the corresponding photographers (in alphetical order):

  • Peter Cox; http://www.petercox.ie/; Facebook (FB): petercoxphoto; Instagram (IG): @petercoxphotography; gallery in Killarney, Co. Kerry. Peter financed his beautiful first book, “Irish Light”, via Kickstarter, and I’m very happy to have taken part in that project – the book came with an exciting print of the sea roiling around Fastnet Rock & Lighthouse, the southernmost point of Ireland. He recently published a second one, “Atlantic Light”, with all photos being aerials and featuring the Irish West Coast – also highly recommended. To the best of my knowledge, all of Peter Cox’ available photographs are in colour.
  • Patrick Donald; http://www.patrickdonald.com/; FB: paddydonald; IG: @patrickdonaldphotographer. Patrick runs a thriving gallery for his own work in Dawson Street in Dublin – being located about 10 minutes walking distance from where I lived 2010-13 I had ample time to browse through his ever more diverse offering, and have picked one stunning print taken in Yosemite plus a dozen of his rather inexpensive ca. A4-sized series. Though Patrick Donald now also has photos from other parts of the world, and in colour, his tag line at least during my time was “Ireland in Black & White”, and that’s what I mostly know him for.
  • Peter Gordon; http://explorelight.com/; FB: explorelight; IG: @explorelight. “Explorelight” is the name of the photography business Peter is running together with his also very well-known father Ed. Both focus primarily on landscape and travel photography, mostly or entirely in colour, and I can personally vouch for the quality of Peter’s workshops (for which there is an ever growing group of devotees, among whom a friend of mine (FB: folker.michaelsen) whose homepage will soon go live, I understand – with quite a few pictures also from Peter Gordon workshops. Peter’s book “Wild Garden” contains the most amazing imagery from the Wicklow Mountain range close to Dublin, one of my favourite places on the Emerald Isle. And I also own a particularly subtle print of Peter’s from that area, Glendalough Lake in mist.
  • Eoghan Kavanagh; http://skyline.ie/; FB: eoghan.kavanagh.1; gallery in Kenmare, Co. Kerry. We came across a booth of Eoghan’s at an art fair in Dublin, and bought a stunning print of Doo Lough Valley on the spot. He later created an extensive body of work on the Skelligs, two islands out west in the Atlantic, incl. Skellig Michael, with an early Christian monastery that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kenmare is still on my list of to dos, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing and selecting from the gorgeous tree and landscape photos at Eoghan’s own gallery.
  • Peter McCabe; http://photoimagery.net/; FB: photoimagery; IG: @petemccabephoto. We first came across Peter’s luscious Irish landscapes while staying for a (too) few days at the outstanding Harvey’s Point Hotel (http://www.harveyspoint.com/) located on the shores of Lough Eske, Donegal, some 10 minutes driving distance from Donegal Town. In the meantime, two wonderful prints – Glengesh Pass, Donegal; and Finn Lough / Delphi  Valley, Mayo – have found their way onto our walls. Ever since, Peter McCabe is to me THE Irish landscape photographer of the Northwest.
  • Daragh Muldowney; http://dulraphotography.com/; FB: daragh.muldowney. So far alas I only met Daragh once, introduced by Peter Gordon (featured above) during a Dublin exhibition of his prints from “Jewellery Box: Ireland's Hidden Gems”, a wonderful book about Daragh's journey around the coast of Ireland photographing the treasures from the rock pools of each coastal county – the exhibition subsequently travelled the world. His homepage store has many more beautiful colour photographs, often in the sense of what Eliot Porter used to call “intimate landscapes”.
  • Giles Norman; http://gilesnorman.com/; FB: gilesnormanphotography; IG: @gilesnorman. It was a print of Giles‘ in the office of a colleague – a rowing boat on a shore in Black & White – which made we want to go and pay a visit Giles’ gallery in picturesque Kinsale, Co. Cork. I promptly took with me what I consider one of the most exciting coastline photographs of all times: a panoramic version of “coumeenole beach, dingle, 2010” – a scene I have later photographed myself and am showing here on my homepage for instance at http://www.mylenwyd.com/p957728355/h64bbcfd7#h64bbcfd7. Giles Norman now also has a lot of great images from all over the world, but also remains one of the most recommendable photographers of Irish themes.

This particular photo of Ben Whiskin (left; front) and Ben Bulbin (right; back), part of the Dartry Mountain range in so-called "Yeats' Country" close to Sligo, northwestern Ireland, an exhibition print as "Allianz Re Switzerland Pic(k) of the month" in April 2016.  Background story and location information at http://www.mylenwyd.com/p633760766/h7ca9bb84#h7ca9bb84 . More such photos at http://www.mylenwyd.com/p540954288 . Photo copyright Joachim Schroeter.

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mylenwyd@yahoo.com (Joachim W. Schroeter (JoWSch)) Ireland Landscape photography Natural beauty Photographers https://www.mylenwyd.com/blog/2016/3/ireland-seven-select-photographers-of-natural-beauty Sun, 20 Mar 2016 14:44:38 GMT
Train Travel: (Zurich) Zug – Bellinzona (Switzerland) & return https://www.mylenwyd.com/blog/2014/11/train-travel-zurich-zug-bellinzona-switzerland-return I never intended to be in Bellinzona – well, not yesterday, anyway. The only time I can remember getting in touch with anything related to that particular place is when I dial into telephone conferences for business: for whatever reason the Swiss switch always being located in Bellinzona.

 

Yesterday then I actually intended to go to Lucerne instead, the picturesque town on the shores of the Lake of the same name, and of which taxi drivers keep telling me that many international tourists – Americans, most notably – apparently continue to believe it’s the capital of Switzerland (subsequently settling for Zurich as the next best bet, before ultimately learning about intriguing Berne – but that’ll be the subject of another post, I promise): There’s an interesting still life exhibition on at Bernheimer Fine Art, Blanca Bernheimer’s photography branch in Lucerne of the renowned Munich gallery of the same family, until early February 2015 and which I intended to attend along with picking up a print which I had recently purchased at Paris Photo (another very worthwhile event indeed; see related earlier blog post).

 

Alas, taking the S16 regional train out of Zurich Wiedikon (where I live) to Zug (where I needed to switch when heading to Lucerne), I mistakenly got on the Pendolino to Milan (the tilting train, designed to manage all the curves and switchbacks across the Alps all the way down to the capital of Lombardy in Italy; and on the way stopping in “Lugano”) instead of the one to “Lucerna” (not that close, come to think of it; another Italian course on the horizon, I guess, to try and avoid similar embarassements going forward). Happily enjoying a coffee and croissant in the dining car, my ticket in this instance wasn’t controlled until after “Arth-Goldau” – the last stop where I could have corrected my mistake without major ado, as I learned afterwards. Instead the conductor sympathetically pointed out to me that this particular train – an Intercity i.e. “not stopping for anything less than a major point of interest or tourism or business“ – wasn’t going to pull into any station again before – yes, you guessed it, Bellinzona (a good 90mins later)! So – now also correctly equipped with a return ticket to Zug / Zurich (this is Switzerland, after all) – I settled in to read “The Home Place” by Nebraskan Writer/Photographer Wright Morris on the way (a delightful book which might very well become the subject of a future post) and let myself be pampered by the staff of the Swiss/Italian restaurant car. And that’s where and when things took another rather unexpected turn (pun entirely intended) …

 

Between Lake Lucerne and Bellinzona, the train follows the river Reuss all the way up beyond a short distance after the town of Andermatt, where it crosses the boundary between Cantons Uri and Ticino (also the watershed between those rivers feeding into the North Sea and those feeding into the Mediterranean) to follow the river Ticino down towards Bellinzona and almost all the way to Lago Maggiore. This scenic route, an engineering feat of major proportions and a classic among train aficionados, I understand, is peppered with mountains, valleys and tunnels all the way, and leading through landscape rivalling that of Yosemite in the US – in fact, about 30 train minutes north of Bellinzona there are rock walls reminiscent of “El Capitan”, one of photographers’ most sought after and most recognizable mountainscapes all over the world, immortalized for instance by Ansel Adams and many of those trying to walk in his footsteps. So I did not get very far in my reading on the way down, when the light was still sufficient to savour this gorgeous landscape hurrying past all too quickly, arriving in Bellinzona slightly ahead of schedule, a few minutes to 4 p.m. on that Saturday 29 November in 2014.

 

The regular Pendolino from Milan in the opposite direction, towards Zug and Zurich, leaving on time at precisely 4:01 p.m. (this is Switzerland, after all, where delay announcements would start as early as a mere 30 seconds after the scheduled arrival or departure at the latest), I had the chance to re-appraise the particularly stunning run up to around Biasca or even a little further from the other side, before the fading light made me turn back to my equally captivating read for the rest of the journey.

 

And while not planned like this at all, this mistake / error / happenstance turned out one of the most fascinating as well as relaxing afternoons and early evenings which I ever spent in Switzerland over the last almost two years or so: serendipity at its best, and all you gotta do is embrace it.

 

And you are right – Bellinzona held me all of 5 minutes or so, but who knows …

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mylenwyd@yahoo.com (Joachim W. Schroeter (JoWSch)) Alps Bellinzona El Capitan Serendipity Switzerland Ticino Train Train Travel Travel Yosemite https://www.mylenwyd.com/blog/2014/11/train-travel-zurich-zug-bellinzona-switzerland-return Sun, 30 Nov 2014 21:45:10 GMT
Music corner: Charlie Haden and the art of the duo https://www.mylenwyd.com/blog/2014/11/music-corner-charlie-haden-and-the-art-of-the-duo Friday 11 July 2014 was a very sad day, and I didn’t even know until later, when finally reading an obituary of Charlie Haden (August 6, 1937 – July 11, 2014): A wonderful double base player, shining in particular in a string (indeed) of duos with many of the Jazz’ and Blues’ other greats and greatest. My favourite musician? Too many different ones actually, in all genres, from Brendel to Coltrane to Queen and so on – but one of them, certainly. And for me – with a particular preference for small formations, including solo music – Charlie Haden will always remain a true master of the duo.

My first encounter with Charlie Haden was the album he had recorded with guitarist Pat Metheny in 1996, “beyond the Missouri Sky (short stories)”: there are not many friends of mine who similarly love all kinds of good music and who didn’t receive this CD with wonderfully relaxed and quiet sounds as a gift. In similar fashion and recorded in the same year, “Night and The City” with pianist Kenny Barron, another gem of a CD. Both albums also feature one of Charlie Haden’s greatest standards, “Waltz for Ruth” (Ruth Cameron and Charlie Haden were married in 1989, and many of Charlie’s records were co-produced by Ruth). Or, very different and yet so similar, “Steal away” with blues pianist Hank Jones, recorded in 1994, a collection of spirituals, hymns and folk songs which never fail to transport me back in time, to the Sunday mornings in the village church of my youth.

These titles were followed by a long series of CD acquisitions of all sorts, with Charlie Haden in duos, trios and larger groups, making him one of the musicians with the broadest representation in our collection. And then one day, while travelling for business, in a dreary hotel in some unexciting part of the world, I turned on the TV to see Charlie Haden and – Keith Jarrett! – playing along together in what looked like somebody’s living room: now surely that would be the recording of a life time, or so I thought, only to find out that none seemed to exist to let us aficionados savour time and again the unique spirit of that encounter. The “living room” was actually Keith Jarrett’s own small studio, and in 2010 Manfred Eicher and his label ECM thankfully saved the anxiously waiting community with the release of “Jasmine”, the first of now two CDs celebrating this outstanding cooperation – the second one being “Last Dance” (also ECM), an ominous title and fitting tribute, published less than a month before Charlie Haden’s subsequent passing away.

Recommended listening (in alphabetical order of duo partners)

  • “None But The Lonely Heart” with pianist Chris Anderson (Naim 1997)
  • “Night and The City” with pianist Kenny Barron (Verve 1996)
  • “Gitane” with guitarist Christian Escoudé (Disques Dreyfus 1991)
  • “In Montreal” with Egberto Gismonti on guitar and piano (ECM 2001)
  • “As Long As There’s Music” with pianist Hampton Hawes (Verve 1993)
  • “Jasmine” and “Last Dance” with pianist Keith Jarrett (ECM 2010 / 2014)
  • “Steal Away” with pianist Hank Jones (Verve 1995)
  • “beyond the Missouri Sky (short stories)” with guitarist Pat Metheny (Verve 1997)
  • “Dialogues” with guitarist Carlos Paredes (Polydor 1990)
  • “Nightfall” with pianist John Taylor (Verve 2004)

and many more, also in larger formations …

Thank you very much indeed, Charlie Haden, for all the wonderful music – quiet music, even silent music – you have left us. RIP.

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mylenwyd@yahoo.com (Joachim W. Schroeter (JoWSch)) Blues CD Charlie Haden Jazz Music Music corner https://www.mylenwyd.com/blog/2014/11/music-corner-charlie-haden-and-the-art-of-the-duo Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:04:12 GMT
Weekend travel Paris: Paris Photo and fotofever art fairs https://www.mylenwyd.com/blog/2014/11/weekend-travel-paris-paris-photo-and-fotofever-art-fairs For years I've been wanting to go and see Paris Photo, one of the world's most important photo art fairs. Alas, mid of November, when the Paris version takes place (there's also a Los Angeles one in spring), is less than ideal for me. Still, in 2014 a friend happened to live in the French capital for a number of months, and a few other friends decided to go, so I joined the crew.

The decision was a bit last minute, so I didn't manage to pre-order tickets, but had to queue outside the magnificent glass domed Grand Palais, on Avenue Winston Churchill in Paris' lush 8th district (or "arondissement", if you need to indicate it to a taxi driver). Luckily it didn't rain while we had to wait in the open, without shelter. And slightly amused we realized that even pre-booked and pre-shipped tickets might not have gotten us into the venue much or any quicker. But ticket sale, security check (just take a small shoulder bag or back pack, but which can fit the catalogues and books you might be collecting over hours of hiking the ailes) and entry were actually well organized and reasonably quick.

The Paris Photo art fair itself is an impressive event. The glass domes of Grand Palais provide a natural and - depending on weather and cloud conditions - very changing light to the venue which I found attractive: a feeling closer to an open air event, rather than the usual museum or hall situation. There are gallery stands, publishing houses' stands, book signings, artist conversations and podium discussions as well as a number of topical exhibitions, in 2014 by sponsors such as Leica, BMW and J.P. Morgan. The art is of high standard, with price tags to match (I haven't seen much below 2.000 €uros a piece, and sky's the limit for some of the truly outstanding works, including along the lines of "Carbon Print, 1880ies"). We spent a full seven hours on that Saturday, amply sufficient for just visiting, perhaps a bit short if you really wanted to select and buy.

Sunday then it was over to the smaller but no less interesting fotofever, a more recent event in the halls of "Carrousel du Louvre" where previously the Paris Photo used to take place. The atmosphere is less formal, the art work on display on the more affordable end of the spectrum (the bulk of it more or less clearly below the 2.000 €uro which seemed to mark the entry price at Paris Photo). I discovered a few very interesting artists there for the first time and about whom I intend to write features here at some stage. The book printers I found spectacular, with their handcrafted small numbers artist editions. Together with a few purchases and a book signing the five hours went very quickly.

Transport: From Zurich, direct high speed train TGV several times a day, in this case, 07:34-11:37 a.m. (bar service; or else small breakfast in 1st Class, included in the fare), just in time for the daily 12:30 p.m. Paris Photo opening.

Accomodation: Functional and "correct" (as the French would say) Hotel Terminus Lyon, right opposite the Gare de Lyon. Just drop your bags (the room won't normally be ready this early, in particular not on a Saturday) before you continue to Paris Photo (ample public transport, or 15-20 €uros for a more sight seeing taxi ride), and leave them there the next day while roaming Paris before boarding for the return journey (very cramped quarters on a late Sunday afternoon - 1st Class recommended).

Dinner: "Au Petit Riche", a 160 year old Paris classic of middle price range, in 25 Rue le Peletier, 9th district or arondissement, not far from the old Opera (Garnier) and close to the "grands boulevards". Friendly waiters (yes). Subdivided into many smaller salons, which makes for an atmosphere much more intimate and authentically Parisian than the overall size would suggest. Excellent food. Wines from western France, in particular the Loire valley. Do try the Montlouis moelleux (quite rare on wine lists) as a (not really sweet) desert wine or along with a somewhat heavier main course, and perhaps precede it with Montlouis sec as the regular version.

 

 

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mylenwyd@yahoo.com (Joachim W. Schroeter (JoWSch)) France Paris Paris Photo Weekend Travel fine art fair fotofever https://www.mylenwyd.com/blog/2014/11/weekend-travel-paris-paris-photo-and-fotofever-art-fairs Tue, 18 Nov 2014 05:25:25 GMT